Stephen Duncombe

Stephen Duncombe in Glasgow
Steve Lambert Stephen Duncombe teaching
Stephen Duncombe writing research
Steve & Steve
Stephen Duncombe builds props

Stephen Duncombe has more than three decades of experience as an educator and activist. With a PhD in Sociology, he has taught in the City and State Universities of New York. Currently he is a Professor of Media and Culture at New York University. Duncombe received:

  • Chancellor’s Award for Teaching at SUNY
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at NYU
  • The University Distinguished Teaching Award at NYU.

An activist his entire adult life, he co-founded a multi-issue community activist group in the mid 1990s, the Lower East Side Collective. During this period the group won an award for “Creative Activism” from the Abbie Hoffman foundation. He was also a lead organizer in the international direct action group Reclaim the Streets.

Stephen Duncombe is the author and editor of eight books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader. He writes on culture and politics for a wide range of scholarly and popular publications. Duncombe created an open-access, open-source, web-based edition of Thomas More’s Utopia. His scholarly and activist work has been supported by, among others:

  • the Open Society and Fulbright foundations
  • the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Endowment for the Arts

In 2024 Duncombe published Æffect, a book on assessing the impact of artistic activism.

Steve Duncombe co-founded the Center for Artistic Activism with Steve Lambert in 2009.

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